SPLENDOR by Anna Godbersen Book Review
Series: Luxe, #4
Published: November 1st 2009 by HarperCollins
So I finally took a break from reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels (thank you Caitlin and Mrs. L for getting me into the series) and went back and continued reading the Luxe series. I usually don’t go for young adult historical fiction anymore because – for lack of a better euphemism – the “romance” is really kind of lacking as compared to “adult” historical fiction. But Luxe has been in my to-read for a while, and when I finally got around to it, I was very happy that I enjoyed the books. I wanted to wait a while before devouring the others, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. So after reading Sookie #2, I went back to read Luxe’s sequels.
Book Summary: A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father’s death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.
Carolina Broad, society’s newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father’s rule extends well beyond New York’s shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.
In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York’s most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city’s oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?
I have just finished Luxe #4, Splendor and I am not a happy camper. Ever since book 2, the series has gone downhill for me, but I kept on reading, thinking it has to get better. But it didn’t. I thought that I would be at least somewhat satisfied once everything concluded, but I’m not. Maybe I’m looking for the stereotypical ending; the predictable kind…. Maybe the endings I want are too cliche…. But I think it’s still possible for a non-cliche ending that will satisfy me… This one just unfortunately did not do the trick.
I hate how I ended up reading four books, only to be disappointed after all that reading. I fell like, well, why on earth did I bother reading the series at all?
(And I am so disappointed with this that I just had to write a blog about it. Sigh.)
Review from GoodReads (contains spoilers):
I’m really disappointed with how everything turned out in this book. Like all the story lines were just a big disappointment.
First of all, I kind of guessed the moment that Snowden Cairns popped up that he was no good at all. I knew that. He was too good to be true and I could easily see through his facade. I knew that he orchestrated Will’s death and the late Mr. Holland’s.
Speaking of Mr. Cairns, I am still not happy about what ended up happening to Mrs. Cairns aka Elizabeth. I’ve always liked Teddy Cutting, but he is still immensely overshadowed by Will. I like how he still is devoted to Elizabeth, but no one can replace Will and I just hate how he died.
I still can’t believe Diana and Henry didn’t end up together. What the hell was the point of reading the series if they don’t end up together? Why couldn’t Diana just let Henry go with her to Paris?
I do believe Penny got what she deserved. Thank god. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Just when I thought I was starting to like Carolina, her ending gets ruined and she ends up not getting married. I guess I was okay that her sister eventually gets to live with her, but doesn’t anyone get to be with their one true love in this book? Apparently not…
I like happy endings. This book has a screwed sense of happy endings. I guess it shows that there’s no such thing as a fairy tale ending, and it’s more realistic that way – but it is not my cup of tea.
Overall, I did enjoy the series. But there were just so many aspects that I just couldn’t wrap my brain around and accept. I didn’t like how the plotlines were going, but I still read on. The writing was extremely enjoyable. I loved a few of the characters along the way. There are some really good parts to the book, but if I had to pick, I would have just stopped at the first book. It left some questions open, but I was happy with how everything turned out. I guess not everyone can be satisfied with endings. But I an unsatisfying ending, to me, is like having a bad aftertaste.